At some point a few decades ago, my sister-in-law phoned me and the conversation lead to me studying fiber, nutrition and human health.
I gained a little info, including these facts:
- Humans have a gastrointestinal (GI) tract that is about 25% longer as compared with dogs, cats and other true carnivores.
- We are considered omnivores, which means that we are programmed physiologically to eat both meat from animals and vegetable and fruit substances.
- The truth is that people have managed to live for long periods on boiled saddles, tree bark and some stuff that would be far removed from appetizing.
It is never a bad idea for us to study the Okinawans of Japan, since they have the highest number of centenarians per capita in the world. The island off the mainland coast of Japan has something over 10 times as many 100-plus-year-old residents per 1,000 population as the US. Many of these people go to work every day. They have the highest level of dietary L-Serine of any peoples in the world. Since L-Serine is an amino acid that can be synthesized from glycine it is considered non-essential from a dietary standpoint, but it has been researched as possibly limiting dementia, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) disease. In our country these diseases have become rampant. Sure enough, grass-fed beef consumption and the right eating habits are preventive. By the way, Okinawa has very highly mineralized soil from its volcanic origin. This soil mineralization is very important.
The consumption of fibrous foods also is vitally important to our health when viewed on a long-term basis. Fiber is generally either digestible or indigestible. Truth is that this might be less than a completely accurate delineation since digestible fiber is less than 100% digestible and indigestible fiber can often yield some calories as it goes through our GI tract. Digestible fiber yields positive energy while indigestible fiber burns energy.
Cell wall cellulose and the amount of lignin are important. Fiber that is indigestible is important to move the foodstuffs through the GI tract, and scratch and cleanse the lining of the intestinal epithelium. The daily cleansing of the gut wall is important. The same is true of daily and regular bowel elimination. Note that healthy animals including carnivores have a highly predictable gastro colic reflex. When they eat they poop. The same is true of healthy humans.
It is pretty simple to just stay away from the middle aisles of the store and the processed breads, juices, biscuits, rolls, flour and anything that has been bleached and reduced to a fine powder. Replace the Irish potatoes with sweet potatoes. Eat the peelings if they have not been chemically treated. Eat a couple of prunes every morning with coffee. Eat raw broccoli with extra-virgin olive oil, apple cider vinegar and sea salt. A good goal is 25 to 30 grams of fiber daily, 50% of which is not digestible.
Stay away from most salad dressings, especially if they say "low fat." Low fat means high fructose corn syrup, and high sugar content is a major killer of health and longevity.
In fact, learn to avoid food with labels that contain words you can't pronounce, high fructose corn syrup, sugar and abbreviations. Sugar and food that is sweet in your mouth will fatten.
Remember that quality fat does not make you fat. Stay away from processed fats, especially man-made (hydrogenated) fat. Grass-fed beef fat (tallow) and extra-virgin olive oil and raw milk butterfat from grazing cattle are the best fats and oils that I am aware of in North America.
Low-fat milk is fattening and not healthy. The same is true of homogenized milk, as the fat has been denatured. On the other hand, high-fat milk from grazing cows that are grazing fresh, recovered grass should be very healthy if everything is clean.
The truth is that low-fat eating is fattening and unhealthy. We require lots (probably 30-40% and possibly 75% on a calorie basis) of quality fat for high health. This fact is important, really important.
By the way, there is no law against missing a meal or two on a regular basis.
Quality fiber, fat and grass-fed beef are the first three biggies for quality health. I have a few more add-ons and plan to be back.